Universal Orlando reveals line-up for its Volcano Bay water park

June 21, 2016, 2:57 PM · Universal Orlando's new water park is scheduled to open next year, and the resort revealed new details about it today.

Volcano Bay is now under construction on 28 acres just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. When completed late next spring, it will offer 19 water-based attractions across four themed zones: Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village, and Krakatau — the volcano at the heart of the park which gives it its name. Here's the teaser video:

In a blog post introducing the park's line-up, Universal promises that it "found a way to get rid of long lines," which, of course, raising the question of what that will be? Has Universal found a way to create water slides with infinite capacity? Will Volcano Bay employ some sort of mandatory ride reservation/virtual queuing system? Or will Universal simply raise the admission price to the point where only a couple of thousand people from around the world can afford to go? (We're betting on the ride reservation/virtual queuing system.)

Universal did hold back one big piece of news about the park — a "secret attraction" in Krakatau that will "be like nothing else in the park." Any guesses on what that might be?

Otherwise, Krakatau will feature three drop-floor body slides, including the 125-foot, 70-degree Ko'okiri Body Plunge, "the world's first slide to travel through a pool filled with guests." The volcano also will be home to Punga Racers, "a high-speed race through four different enclosed slides featuring manta-shaped mats."

Other lands will include wave pools, leisure pools, lazy rivers, playgrounds, and raft rides... as well as North America’s first saucer ride, "sending multi-passenger rafts speeding around three saucer-shaped curves."

In a press conference at the U.S. Travel Association's IPW convention in New Orleans today, where Universal first revealed the Volcano Bay details, the resort also said that the park will be open by next June 1, and that Universal Orlando will start selling a three-park "Explorer" ticket by then. It did not reveal the price.

Universal's current water park, Wet 'n' Wild, will close at the end of this summer. Wet 'n' Wild, the first modern water park, was created by one of the founders of SeaWorld and obtained by Universal several years ago.

Replies (18)

June 21, 2016 at 3:28 PM · I think this will be a great water park, but the advertising is all a bit ho hum. The water slide going through the pool is not new, in Dubai there's a slide that does the same (except it goes through their shark pool, not the swimming pool). The queue-free part may involve slow running rivers at the start or end of the slides to soak up the overflow of guests.

Is there any word on a "stainless" system where guests stay on the donuts and get jetted up slides to the top of the water slides?

June 21, 2016 at 3:35 PM · I hope they mean they are following what they did at Atlantis Aquadventure in Dubai. Where the lazy river branches off to access water slides in the temple. Either by conveyor/travelator leading into the temple where multiple routes/ water channels go to the slides entrance or even by a water coaster that takes you into the temple where again multiple water channels are waiting to divert you to different slides. So you don't need to queue as your constantly moving and in a queue line in theory and your remain in your tube. It's such an awesome concept and works brilliantly in Dubai.. So I think they will use that rather than fast/express pass system.
June 21, 2016 at 4:09 PM · I just want to know how they're going to fit all that on a relatively tiny piece of land.....
June 21, 2016 at 4:19 PM · @Grant

I think it's a great idea to have the water slide go through a swimming pool instead of a shark pool. Humans are by far the more dangerous creature in comparison, so it should be infinitely more thrilling.

But I'll definitely try this place out one day. Looks fun so far.

June 21, 2016 at 4:30 PM · Sounds pretty small at only 28 acres.
Blizzard Beach is 66 acres , Typhoon Lagoon is 56 acres and Aquatica is 60 acres. Unless they adopt a Discovery Cove type price structure, this park will be crowded.
June 21, 2016 at 4:30 PM · so will this park be built on the wet and wild land???
June 21, 2016 at 5:50 PM · It looks like a heartless, rich-man's Typhoon Lagoon. I wish they went elsewhere with the theme, but that ride line-up looks massively fun. They should import Bomb Bay and the Disco ride somewhere on property too.
June 21, 2016 at 7:05 PM · I don't care for the obvious unthemed colorful flumes. Typhoon Lagoon still looks superior.
June 21, 2016 at 7:43 PM · From elsewhere, but it's larger than you may think (especially with no parking lot) it's roughly the same actual park size as Typhoon Lagoon.

Park size (source: Orange County property appraiser website,
Typhoon Lagoon 55 Acres (20 of which is parking, and 1 a retention pond) so effectively 34 acres

Blizzard Beach 58 Acres (20 of which is parking and 2 retention pond) : effectively 36 acres

Aquatica 58 acres, 8 of which is a retention pond and 20 a parking lot, effectively 30 acres

Wet N Wild 24 Acres, parking is across the street. Effectively 24 acres

Volcano Bay 32 Acres, no parking, no ponds - Effectively 32 Acres

June 21, 2016 at 9:09 PM · I have mixed emotions on this. We are going back to USO right as this opens xo that's exciting but at the same time, it's a water park... We have one here. Sure it's not this big but still...

I don't have Diagon Alley, or Spidey, or Transformers. Do I want to take 1/2 to a full day to do this?

June 21, 2016 at 9:10 PM · It will be compared with Disney's Aulani. Of course, few gone there, but I have and love it. You should be glad it looks rich. The theming is amazing. I don't think they will mess it up.
June 21, 2016 at 10:53 PM · I guess I should cut back on the Krispie Kreme and Five Guys.
June 21, 2016 at 11:17 PM · Looks interesting, though I'll have to wait to see the finished product before seeing if this is really the most immersive waterpark ever. The animation does show some pretty plain slide towers, after all. That said, if I could only visit one waterpark on a Florida trip this looks like it would be the best choice. It definitely sounds like it will be worth at least 2/3 of a day for those who have 3 days at USO, but I'm not yet sure it is unique enough to include in only a 2 day trip. As for the elimination of lines, my guess is mandatory advance ticket purchase with a specific attendance date combined with mandatory ride reservations using Accesso's Qband or similar.
June 21, 2016 at 11:39 PM · I hope they'll add Volcano Bay to the Orlando Flex Ticket.
June 21, 2016 at 11:56 PM · That looks absolutely beautiful and full of fun slides.
I presume the park will also have a night life vibe. They say the volcano spews water during the day but by night it's lava. I could see this change into a beach party for adults at night.
Anyway now I'm wondering what the unannounced attraction in the vulcano is...
June 22, 2016 at 5:38 AM · I'm more excited about Volcano Bay than either Star Wars Land or Avatar Land. Let's face it: Both "Avatar" and "The Force Awakens" sucked.
June 22, 2016 at 10:59 AM · I would think they would have to add this to the Flex ticket as WW is going away soon and they jacked the prices up for the Flex tickets this year.

It seems like they are going for a On Property type of audience, I can't see too many locals will to go pay $20 to park in the garages and then wait for a shuttle over there. Then again, maybe they want to weed out the locals and go for the market that is willing to buy all the souvenirs, snacks etc at the park.

June 27, 2016 at 8:46 PM · I may hold an idea to their claim about "getting rid of long lines" and I hope I'm wrong. (TL;DR Wet N' Wild is testing a wristband reserve time similar to the older Disney ticket FastPass service and it's pretty questionable)

I went to Wet N' Wild last week as a farewell since my mom was a lifeguard when it first opened and I haven't been in 5-7 years. I was instantly baffled when they gave me a blue waterproof wristband upon entry with no explanation and signs I ignored. I figured the wristband was just a proof of ID or whatever.

Anyways we tried riding The Storm, our first ride, and the attendant who stood before a glorified iPad said "we had to go reserve via wristband" first. We turned around and there were 3 monitors with little squares below them. They displayed the wait time of the ride, and a sign explained if we tapped our wristband on the square it would give us a time to come back to the queue eerily similar to how you used to reserve fastpasses at Disney. Note, there were not actual fastpass lanes though, everyone had to do it one way. So in 5 minutes we came back and tapped our wristband to another square connected to the attendee's iPad. She then let us on.

It seemed odd to me they were testing this the last year of Wet N' Wild when they wouldn't even attempt to fix Bomb Bay, which is now permanently closed (Der Stuka is still open). So, unless they've been doing this for years and I never heard about it I figured they're running trials for Volcano Bay.

Pros? My wristband never broke, stopped working, etc. Pretty well made, little bit of a wider, not thicker, plastic wristband with a larger rectangle where the sensor is. Which, after opening up, looked like more plastic with lines, again very well made. For the most part we had no issues, and if we did they had more then plenty of attendees waiting to help. They also use similar wristbands for locker rental which we had no issues with.

Cons. To me, the idea of waiting around to then wait in line is just more complicated nonsense. But, then again, I also have no problems waiting in lines up to 6 hours (but I definitely don't prefer them) I guess to others, being able to lounge around in the lazy river, the lack thereof wave pool, or go get something to eat, then go wait in a 5-15 min line is worth it. To me, I'd rather just suck it up and wait on the staircase. The other huge issue is that once you reserve to ride that specific ride youre locked in. So you cannot reserve the 60 min Disco H20 and then go ride the no line Black Hole in the meantime. If they could somehow add that, or something similar that would help out a lot. Besides that, sometimes tapping the wristband wouldn't work but that was a minor fix. But if the attendee was having problems checking in wristbands, it now created a line to get in the line you already waited around to get in.

I see what they are going for, but to me, it did not seem worth it.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive